By analyzing microorganisms present in samples, testing helps ensure the quality of cannabis products and is often an indicator of the level of hygiene within the cultivation and processing environments.
Throughout the cultivation and processing stages of cannabis, there is a possibility of contamination with harmful bacteria and fungi. This poses a potential threat to patients and consumers who may come into contact with the plant material, extracts, and infused products.
The examination for microbial contaminants in cannabis mirrors procedures used by the USDA and FDA when it comes to ensuring food safety. This examination determines if detrimental bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella spp. are present, while also ensuring that total viable aerobic bacteria counts, total yeast and mold counts, total coliforms counts, and bile-tolerant gram-negative bacteria counts are all within the thresholds established by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.